20 Jul 2011

Tahrir School Diaries

The very beginning
Since the beginning of the of the Revolution, my brother shared a lot, especially after the Military taking over and beginning the Military trials for Civilians, he then became what could be called “An Activist” in “No Military Trials for Civilians ( aka NoMilTrials)”!
And I won’t say I didn’t share, I mean beside the small artworks that didn’t go further than my blog, and the participation in Egypt Tomorrow Exhibition, I joined the artists campaign for Egyptian Rights& Duties.  But still I didn’t really feel like I played an important role.
I always believe that Education is one of the main pillars to build any civilization, and it was always my dream to know how to combat illiteracy and polish the bright brains that we have them buried between poverty, sickness, abuse and homelessness, without any foreign intervention and specially not the US putting the Curriculum for Egyptian Kids (I mean where the hell did the past regime got that idea from… but that’s irrelevant now!)

How I knew about it?
A couple of days ago I offered to bring some of the food supplies they needed in Tahrir as I knew from twitter. My contact there was- one of my brother’s friends- Nazly Hussein “Activist @nomiltrials”, so I followed her on twitter so I could keep up with the news, Food Supplies mission was successful, but I didn’t meet “Nazly” coz she wasn’t in the tents when I arrived and Instead I met “Leil” the first Arab I meet who knows “Suheir Hammad” by default!
Later that day “Nazly” made a tweet  like this: “Just finished our first class in #tahrirschool. It was great. We'll be teaching little tahririans :) http://t.co/WqRG1zX”  It was the beam of light for me, I called her, asked her for more details and the next day @ 6:15 pm off I went!
Upon Arrival “Nazly” quickly identified me, I still dnt know how! But…
A little while later we began the First Lesson: Puzzles with “Miss/Nazly”:) and Little Tahririans: Badr, Yehia, Ahmed, Hesham, street kids whose ages vary between 10 and 13 ys old.
Then came along a little kid around 6 or 7 ys, who thought we’re going to give him money but instead “Nazly” told him “No, but you sit and play with us”, he quietly sat, he looked so untamed and so silent but his attitude was like “Crying out loud to move and speak a lot!”, he sat next to me.

The great shock for all of us was when “Nazly” asked him what his name was, and then we could hear something like a loud whisper of the word: “Shaimaa”…
“Nazly” checked the name once more and I asked him one more time, “UR Name, son!” for an instance he didn’t speak and then he repeated “Shaimaa”. We all looked at each other, the other kids told him “Are you a Girl or a Boy?!” He seemed Clueless!! And instead He kept his eyes on the puzzle, and “Nazly” told the kids not to tease him.
In my head I thought it might only be the name thing and that he might really not know what his name is, we kept playing and “Nazly” kept calling him “Shaimaa” as he said, but it wasn’t until he said he Wanted that -pointing at a piece of the puzzle- referring to himself with the “Female adjective”! It was then I was certain It was much deeper than being used to a name!

How did you know he’s a boy?  
 Well, biologically I didn’t know, of course! But there are other things beside “U Know what” that you can tell if a kid is a Male or a Female, 1- Hair growing pattern on his head< Male,               2- Voice and Attitude< Male.
So, if he was proved to be a female (don’t even know how we’ll know that), I think I can never meet such an Androgynous kid or person in my life!

“Shaimaa” was the massive Highlight for me in the Lesson, but then came the beautiful highlight of “Ahmed” as we began to draw everyone put their palms on the paper and started to draw, as more papers were torn and given, Ahmed stayed with his paper, after he was done of the outline he quietly took the red and black crayon, divided his palm to Red fingers and Black at the bottom, he coloured it so neatly and then he said he knew the Eagle is missing, but he doesn't know how to draw it, Nazly didn't know either, so he took his paper back and drew the silhouette of the eagle with the yellow, then while the others were having fun with the colours, he suggested we cut all those palms out and hang them in the threads bet. The tents! Nice idea, so he cut his out and wrote his drawing, hardly wrote his name on the back.
While waiting for the others to finish he took another paper and told me "Please, Could you draw me a Fanous "Ramadan Lantern" You know in dots, and I'll trace it!" I don't know where he saw the trace and draw; I mean I barely even know this kid, But what I can say he's really polite, and If his talent is polished off the street dust and taken care of he'll be something and something Creative! Now let's hope for the best, and as "Nazly" said: "Change the world one kid at a time".
So after I saw a lot in those two hrs, here's the wrap up for day #1: 
 Badr: The News boy, apparently for Nazly he's the reuters of the Midan "Square"
       Ahmed: Very artistic and creative, I really hope this kid's taken care of educationally. 
Hesham: Should probably be a writer, he wrote everything he knows about himself all around the paper he drew his palm on, in a very crooked line but he did. 
Yehia: Still haven't found out what he's really good at, but he's really sociable and he moves like hell, folks  
"Shaimaa": … No Comment, My prayers go for this kid, I don't know if he'll show up again, or if I'll manage to know what, or who led him to what he's in such a young age.

No comments:

Post a Comment